Just a few short weeks ago during NXNE, Toronto artist Ralph was selected to be one of the curators in the reimagined club land series. Gone are the days of a bunch of bands being booked to play a venue with no connection to each other and instead renowned artists like Jim Cuddy, Katie Monks of Dilly Dally and Jasmine Burke of Weaves hand crafted shows based on their styles, artists they are fans of and acts they want to highlight. One of the bands playing during Ralph’s hand crafted show was Garçons, the Ottawa duo who were tasked with opening for Ralph’s big hometown headlining gig at The Great Hall. With Julian Strangelove on the keys and synths creating lush bouncy beats while front man Deelo Avery showcased his best dance moves while crooning along to incredibly danceable music.
The band ran through their small but growing catalog including their singles Numba One and Little Things. The band is known most for their music videos but still translate their music to the live setting very well. Halfway through the set Strangelove came out behind his rig to play bass and create a great back and forth vibe with Avery. The set was short but very sweet, hopefully more new music and a full length project coming soon and it won’t be long until they are the headliners for a venue of similar size to The Great Hall.
Getting the chance to chat with Ralph before the show was a treat, as you don’t often get a chance to hear such insightful and frank remarks about an artists work and she had plenty of interesting things to say about her music videos, writing style and collaborating with some seriously talented folks.
Last year her self titled debut LP was released and was named our 29th best album of 2017. The record had six songs and all of which were played at the show starting with Busy Man one of the most popular tracks off of it. Several of the songs had new arrangements like the one previously mentioned, Something More and Crocodile Tears changing the 70’s disco atmosphere to a more modern RnB tune.
Several new songs were also played like her current single September Fades, Bedroom Eyes and Tables Have Turned giving fans an early look of what is to come from her forthcoming album. Since it was a hometown gig there was a few surprises in store for the excited crowd, the first of which was bringing out Jason Couse from The Darycs to play Screenplay. He played guitar and sung eye to eye with Ralph recreating their epic collaboration.
A surprise from one half of The Darcys wasn’t the only thing in store for the people as Ralph also brought out Toronto’s own TOBi to rap along to Girl Next Door. Wearing a great sweater that stated “Mom I’m just trying to focus on my art right now” got a compliment from Ralph at the end of the song as TOBi gave her a quick hug and ran off stage. Having the two biggest guests she has worked with thus far in her career come out to play really added an air of specialness to the event. TOBi actually was the main headliner at Ralph’s NXNE curated showcase that Garçons also played at.
The show ended with a one-two punch of Tease and Cold to the Touch before the new look band left the stage. They eventually came back out to perform one last number in Young Hearts Run Free the most unapologetically disco tinged song of the night getting everyone to bust a move from the front of the room to the back and all the way up into the upper floor.
With her debut full length record coming out sometime in the near future there is plenty to be excited about if you are a fan of Ralph.